Helping Your Chickens Through Fall Molting
With the days getting shorter and the air getting cooler, I’m sure you’ve started to notice the increased number of feathers in your run or around the yard. Our poor chickens are molting! They look miserable!! And they are!
Growing feathers is serious business, but needs to be done. They are preparing their bodies for winter by shedding damaged feathers and re-growing new ones.
Molting is a painful process for them which leads them to stop laying, for the most part, through this period. Their bodies need to use protein for the feathers so they don’t have any to spare for those eggs we love so much!
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So how can you help your chickens through fall molting? Here a few steps you can take to make it a little easier on them.
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Switch the Type of Feed You Give Them
It’s all about the protein! Feathers are made of protein, and as they are losing feathers they are also growing new ones.
Increased protein in their diet will help them grow those new feathers.
Add Fermented Feed to Their Diet
Fermented feed helps chickens to absorb more nutrients from their food.
Not to mention they think they’re getting a feast when you bring it to them!
You can find how to ferment feed in my post, Lower Feed Costs with Fermented Feed.
Supply them with Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
Black oil sunflower seeds are also high in protein, as well as rich in Vitamin E.
Harvest your own seeds with tips from my post here.
When chickens go into molt, their egg production drops to almost nothing.
Their bodies need that extra protein.
If you can spare any eggs, fix them up a breakfast of scrambled eggs! You can also add some healthy herbs and vegetables for a special treat!
What better source of protein?
Make them (or buy) A flock block
Flock Blocks can contain all sorts of goodness!
They are also a great boredom buster and will reduce feather pecking, which only causes more stress. Here is a recipe that I like to use!
Do you know any other ways to help with molting? Tell me in the comments!
This post was shared on The Homesteader Hop!
Thursday 29th of November 2018
I use 18% layer pellets and a treat of mealworms but their molt seems to last forever. When I get an egg it's often broken or soft on the tip of the shell even with oyster shell available. Any ideas?
Saturday 1st of October 2016
Love the flock block :) I plan to plant more sunflowers next year to try and save the seeds for the chickens! A very good list! Thank you!